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US Firefighters Join Israeli Brothers to Battle Blazes

American firemen in Israel to battle wildfires, November 2016 (Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/Jerusalem Post)

While Israeli rescue workers battle wildfires across the Holy Land this past week, they received help from friends from abroad. The Jerusalem Post's Daniel K. Eisenbud reports on the American firefighters who came to the aid of their Israeli brethren:

As fires engulfed large swaths of the country over the past week, 40 veteran US firefighters refused to watch the tragedy unfold from afar.

Instead, they boarded planes from as far away as Los Angeles and Dallas and traveled for up to 20 hours, including layovers, to fight alongside their brothers in arms.

Donning a full Israeli uniform, Rick Nessner, a 32-year veteran of the Dallas Fire Department, said he has been a member of EVP since 2010.

“I have been over here four times now, and this is our second deployment,” Nessner said, noting he was last deployed during the Gaza war in 2014. “The other two times I was here were for training.”

One of 15 volunteers from the Dallas area, Nessner said he was drawn to the program because firefighting knows no borders.

“It’s pretty simple for me: It’s firefighting,” he said. “Back home, if another city calls for help, it’s called ‘mutual aid,’ and we go help them. There is no question; you just do it. This isn’t any different for me. If Israeli firefighters need some help, we come out and help them.”

Nessner added: “It’s not about politics, it’s not about religion – it’s about firefighting, brotherhood, and saving lives...”

Tags: US-Israel Relations

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